Core scripture: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).
Message: It is only fitting that we end our Fruits of the Spirit series with faithfulness. Sometimes keeping the faith is trying for a Christian teacher. Satan loves throwing roadblocks in our way to diminish our faith. Unruly students. Stresses with testing. Piles of papers to grade. There never seems to be enough time to finish it all, and all of a sudden our faith is under fire. It is during these times that we cannot navigate life alone. We must cling to a certain hope deep in our hearts that promises to overcome it all. That power comes straight from the Holy Spirit.
I was humbled Sunday morning as I awoke early to prepare to teach a Sunday school lesson to my middle schoolers. It was one of those mornings when my prayers were quite selfish, focused only on my own little world. The lesson, however, opened my eyes to missionaries who needed my prayers. I visited a website at www.persecution.com and watched a five-minute video about a pastor in India by the name of Suta. Twenty-five years old, he was beaten and left for dead; however, one of his persecutors felt guilt, nursed him back to health, and ended up giving his life to Christ. Suta now is their pastor, leading others in India to Christ.
These stories inspire me! If these missionaries can overcome, so can we. They likewise humble me. Suddenly the problems that I face daily seem so minuscule to what those on the front lines are enduring every day. Here I am fretting over how to get my classes to read and follow ALL the directions on my “bell work” screen, while evangelists halfway across the world are dying for their belief. Kinda puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? We do have a commonality though that unites us all together, and that is our faith in Jesus Christ. When Jesus fights our battles alongside us, we always come out on top.
How do we strengthen our faith? We get into the Word. We meditate on scripture. We put God’s Word in our hearts and power on. Romans 10:17 states, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” If you find your faith wavering, pick up your Bible and let these stories inspire you. Start with Hebrews 11. Here you will find a long list of Old Testament heroes whose faith transcends time. Allow their legacies to inspire your own legacy. It will strengthen your faith and reliance on the Holy Spirit. That reliance is sure to carry you through any struggle ahead of you.
Challenge: Visit the website www.persecution.com. Find one of the numerous missionaries listed there and pray that their faith would strengthen through adversity.
Song application: “Same Power” by Jeremy Camp
The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us, lives in us
He lives in us, lives in us
Quote: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” (C.S. Lewis)
Journal: Referencing Hebrews 11, what would your own “by faith” statement read? Write it down. Share it with someone who would benefit from hearing it. Who knows? Your testimony might empower another person to solidify their faith.
Bible story: Need a Bible story about faith? Look no further than the story of Abraham and Isaac. Read Genesis 22:1-19 and reflect on the following questions. How did Abraham trust God in the midst of adversity? What lesson did Isaac learn having seen what his dad did?
Prayer: Father, I pray you will help me keep faith through all the trials in my life. Humble me and let me remember to pray for the faith of others on the front lines. Amen.
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